The Jungfrau + Matterhorn tour provides perhaps the perfect combination of pretty villages and premier hikes in Switzerland. Start in Mürren, and continue on to Grindelwald, Saas Fee and Zermatt, on one of our signature tours. You’ll stay in comfortable and classy hotels in each village, enjoying some of the finest hiking in the Alps by day, returning to the same hotel each night, and will travel between villages on scenic train and bus rides. This tour encompasses most of the main sights that you won’t want to miss, such as the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Matterhorn mountains, and many small, off-the-beaten-path places as well, such as the dramatic scenery of relatively-unknown Saas Fee.
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at our hotel – a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice – which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you’ll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from.
You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant. These are multi-course feasts, often centered on local specialties like bratwurst, rösti, or cheese fondue, but may also feature chicken, fish, or other continental specialties. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. Typically we leave one dinner in Mürren and one dinner in Saas Fee free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.
Mürren – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train Mürren. There is a train station in both the Zurich and Geneva airports, and transferring to Mürren will be an easy introduction to Swiss precision and friendliness.
The trip itself is incredibly scenic, and takes about 4 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000ft. cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen valley (picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top). You’ll have a chance to breathe the fresh mountain air and listen to the tinkle of not-so-distant cowbells before dinner, and settling in to your hotel for the night.
Mürren – One of our favorite hikes starts in town, and gently meanders up the hills to the pastoral setting at Spielboden.
Here you cross the Schiltbach stream, and start a steep and invigorating ascent to the local peak of Bryndli. Take your lunch enjoying birds-eye views of Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen valley, perhaps with a soaring golden eagle for company. From here the trail levels off, and becomes a relaxing stroll through flowery meadows to a quiet alpine hut at Bogangen. The trail back leads over a small ridge for more great views, before dropping back down to Mürren.
Mürren – The Upper Lauterbrunnen valley curls back beneath the white-capped Breithorn – considered by many to be the most perfect mountain in the region.
It’s also a nature preserve, and contains many wonderful hiking trails. One of our favorites takes you to the small farm at Obersteinberg, where the proprietors keep cows and make cheese by the same simple methods that have been used for centuries. This part of the valley also contains some of the area’s prettiest waterfalls.
Mürren – Start with a morning stroll through the sleepy village of Gimmelwald.
From here a wooded trail leads down past impressive waterfalls to the floor of the Lauterbrunnen valley. After a relaxing picnic lunch, a flat hike leads through the center of this amazing valley. 3000′ cliffs tower on either side, bursting with some of Switzerland’s most famous waterfalls. After arriving in the town of Lauterbrunnen, transfer by cable car back to Mürren.
Grindelwald – Leaving Mürren, a 1 hour train ride brings you to the classic resort village of Grindelwald.
Fronted by the impressive rock wall of the Bernese Alps, the ridge behind Grindelwald hosts some of the greatest panorama hiking in the Alps. The Bachalpsee, a small glacial lake, provides the perfect mirror for enjoying the surrounding mountain scenery. Follow less traveled trails through rocky fields and old pine forests to this lake and other favorite viewpoints.
Grindelwald – Another energetic hike takes you right into the heart of the Grindelwald mountains.
It starts with a densely wooded climb to the impressive Gletscherschlucht – a steep narrow gorge gouged out by the lower Grindelwald glacier. From here, your path continues up, out of the woods, along an airy trail to Bäregg. This sunny perch sits in a cirque among the mountains, and is a wonderful place to watch birds soar as avalanches crash onto the glacier far below.
Saas Fee – After breakfast, you’ll say good-bye to Grindelwald, and board the train and then bus for Saas Fee, a high, car-free village in Switzerland’s southern Valais region.
In Saas Fee, a beautiful balcony walk through larch forests gives a great introduction to this glacier-ringed valley. We stay in the center of town in a comfortable hotel.
Saas Fee – In Saas Fee, quiet wooded trails lead to the remote Allmagelleralp, where we lunch at an historic hut before looping back to town.
Zermatt – Leaving Saas Fee, transfer to Zermatt, the lively mountain village at the base of the Matterhorn.
You’ll have a chance to take a short hike, visit the alpine museum, or spend the rest of the day exploring town. Zermatt also hosts some of the best hotels in Switzerland, with luxurious pools and spas and world-class cuisine.
Zermatt – Walking through the village takes you past 400 year-old houses and into the history of this fascinating town.
From there, one trail takes you up to the Findeln glacier, hiking through larch forests and passing numerous small lakes with the Matterhorn towering in the distance. Afterwards, enjoy exquisite food and great Matterhorn views from your hotel.
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, you have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.
Once you gain the ridge, the jumbled mass of the Gorner glacier stretches out before you, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop.
Zermatt – There are many peaceful trails criss-crossing the larch forests outside of Zermatt. One favorite leads across a suspended wooden walkway through a narrow river gorge.
After a thrilling (but safe) walk through the gorge, you’ll emerge and continue on to the enchanting, centuries-old hamlets of Zum See and Zmutt. Perhaps you’ll make the strenuous climb to the Schwarzsee lake, or even up to the Hornli hut (a sort of Matterhorn base camp) to enjoy fabulous, close-up views of the Matterhorn and and a sweeping look back at the valley below.
depart – After breakfast, you’ll say adieu and leave for your post-trip destinations.
On this village-based self-guided tour, discover Murren and Zermatt – arguably the two best hiking destinations in Switzerland…Learn more ›
The self-guided Mürren tour is the perfect combination of a quaint village setting, gorgeous hiking, huge waterfalls, and spectacular mountain scenery.Learn more ›